The other day I got to my apartment building, walked into an elevator, and pressed the button for 8th floor. Quite usual procedure that I repeat at least a couple of times daily.

This time nothing happened.

The button did not work.

The way out seemed to be to go to another floor and walk from there.

I pressed 9. The doors closed and we started moving.

I held my breath all the way up.

Our elevator is quite loud. It makes noises and living in this apartment building all my 27 years of life, I know those noises by heart. Yet the noise that signifies my floor came and went and the elevator was still going up.

Finally it stopped, the doors opened on the 9th floor and I walked out.

Have you ever felt like you’re in one of your scariest dreams – only it’s not a dream but a reality?

Back when I was seven, I got stuck in an elevator. This very same one.

I spent what seemed like an eternity (about an hour of real outside-of-the-elevator time) in the darkness, wondering if I ever will get out. It was time before cell phones, so my only way of notifying everyone that I was stuck was to yell out loud.

Yell I did.

Then I was quiet.

Finally my mom and grandma got me out.

For the next few months, I wouldn’t ride the elevator at all, even with others there.

For the next three years I never rode in the elevator alone.

It did change one day when I was coming home with heavy bags and the prospect of walking up to the eighth floor did not look too cheerful. I stepped into that incredibly small cabin and closed my eyes. When I arrived and the door safely opened on my floor, I felt as if I conquered Mt. Everest.

After that, I gradually got over my fear of elevators. But the dreams remained.

Dreams of trying to walk into the elevator only to notice that its floor is gone… or the back wall is on fire… or that it rushes up so fast that we crash through the roof… or we drop through the ground…

Dreams of running away from someone, taking the stairs… running up and up, and never arriving on my floor… Only to realize that I am on the ninth floor (the top one) and I cannot go back because the stairs are gone, with only a gaping abyss there or they are on fire. And the elevator is out of option because it’s not working properly (see reasons above)…

I have had those dreams for 20 years now. Not every night, but they come once in a while.

So when I got out of the elevator a couple of days ago on the ninth floor and had to walk downstairs one flight… it felt rather odd and terrifying.

Have you ever had a dream that was recurring and you had to confront it in real life?

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